Screening for colorectal cancer is important. In fact, research shows that getting screened for this type of cancer can reduce someone’s risk of dying from cancer by 60 to 70%. However, there are far too many people who avoid getting a colonoscopy to test for colorectal cancer. Many people feel disgusted by the prep that is involved in this procedure. Others have insurance that won’t cover this test. Some people can’t afford the procedure. The good news is that your elderly loved one can still get tested for colorectal cancer. There are other commonly used tests they can get.
Fecal Occult Blood Test
The Fecal Occult Blood Test of FOBT can help to detect colorectal cancer. There are 2 different types of this test. Both of them will check to see if your elderly loved one has blood in their stool. Your elderly loved one would get a kit that allows them to collect their stool sample in their own home. They would then turn the kit back in at their doctor’s office. The majority of people who have colorectal cancer or polyps will have blood in their stool. Getting this test completed once a year can reduce the risk of dying from colorectal cancer by a significant percentage.
Stool DNA Test
There is a screening test that is FDA approved. It is called Cologuard. This will check to see if your elderly loved one has blood in their stool. It will also check for 9 DNA biomarkers in 3 different genes that would be found with colorectal cancer or precancerous adenomas. Your elderly loved one would get a test kit in the mail. They would have to collect their stool sample and mail the sample back to the lab that sent it. Many people find that this type of test is more convenient than other testing methods. The other great thing about this test is that most major insurances will cover the costs.
Another test that your elderly loved one could get is a sigmoidoscopy. This is cheaper than the traditional colonoscopy. It will exam your elderly loved one’s sigmoid colon and rectum. Generally, sedation won’t be used, however, your loved one would still have to do lower colon prep. Air will be blown through your loved one’s colon so that it expands. The physician doing the exam will check for polyps or any other abnormal growths.
These are some of the ways that your elderly loved one can get tested for colorectal cancer. If you are concerned that your loved one has yet to be checked for this type of cancer, you should have them follow up with their doctor. The doctor will determine what type of test is needed for your loved one.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering hiring Home Health Care in Friendswood, TX, please contact the caring staff at Sheila’s Angels In-Home Care today at (281) 480-4846.